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David Thompson explored the area with the westward expansion and establishment of the North West Company's Spokane House in 1810.
This trading post was the first long-term European settlement in Washington.
It is the seat of Spokane County and the economic and cultural center of the Spokane Metropolitan Area, the Greater Spokane Area, and the Inland Northwest.Gonzaga University was established in 1887 by the Jesuits, and the private Presbyterian Whitworth University opened three years later in north Spokane. Eventually the winds and the fire died down; 32 blocks of Spokane's downtown core had been destroyed and one person killed. Stratton, "From the late 1890s to about 1912, a great flurry of construction created a modern urban profile of office buildings, banks, department stores, hotels and other commercial institutions" which stretched from the Spokane River to the site of the Northern Pacific railroad tracks below the South Hill.In sports, the Gonzaga Bulldogs collegiate basketball team competes at the Division I level. In the 1890s the city was subject to intrastate migration by African-Americans from Roslyn, looking for work after the closure of the area's mines.After the latter business absorbed the North West Company in 1821, the major operations at the Spokane House were eventually shifted north to Fort Colville, reducing the post's significance. Henry Clay Merriam 56 miles (90 km) northwest of Spokane, at the junction of the Columbia and Spokane Rivers, to protect the construction of the Northern Pacific Railway and secure a place for U. Forrest was elected as the first mayor of the city, with a Council of seven-S. Many Wobblies were incarcerated, including feminist labor leader Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, who published her account in the local Industrial Worker.In 1853, two years after the establishment of the Washington Territory, the first governor, Isaac Stevens, made an initial effort to make a treaty with Chief Garry and the Spokanes at Antoine Plantes' Ferry, not far from Millwood. Although overshadowed in importance by the vast timbered areas on the coastal regions west of the Cascades, and burdened with monopolistic rail freight rates and stiff competition, Spokane became a noted leader in the manufacture of doors, window sashes, blinds, and other planing mill products.